Local Woman to Ride in PMC to Find Cancer Cure, Stay Healthy
A look at a local PMC rider.
Chelmsford resident Christine Kitsos will ride in the Pan Mass Challenge on August 5. Below, she tells us a little about her ride and what motivates her. This article is part of a series on local riders in the Pan Mass Challenge.
1. Why will you ride in the PMC?
It's multi-fold really. I am a Ph.D and work at a local pharmaceutical company (Eisai Pharmaceuticals, Inc in Andover). One of the main focuses of the company is oncology related diseases. I am very passionate about what I do and care about the people that are affected about this disease. As an insider, I know how costly R&D is for the discovery and approval of new drugs. We also have an HHC initiative at Eisai, where we do outreach for the community.
It is really more than that though. Also, a close family member was diagnosed with cancer this year which was really a shock for me. 100% of all donations go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. I have met Billy Starr and seen their offices. It is really low-budget. He doesn't make money off of this. He is truly passionate about what he does and it makes me feel more passion for it. I really feel like this is a worthwhile cause.
2. Is this your first ride?
This is my first PMC. I am excited and very nervous. I am doing the one day ride. I didn't want to push it on my first ride. I wanted to see how this one goes and hopefully work my way up to a 2-day ride.
3. What are you looking forward to most about your ride?
I am looking forward to riding with other riders... the camaraderie. Besides the obvious ride for charity, it is a huge accomplishment for me as well to finish this ride.
4. Is there anything you're nervous or anxious about?
I am nervous that even with all my training, I won't be able to finish it. It is the fear of the unknown I guess. I am nervous that it will be really hot and also about getting into a bike accident. All worries that I am sure other first-timers think about.
5. What do you think it will feel like to have accomplished your ride?
If you would have told me a year ago that I would be riding in the PMC this year, I would have laughed and said no way. I have trained pretty hard and put many many hours into training for this. I have lost a significant amount of weight and got into probably the best shape of my life. It has been one of the hardest things I have done and if I can do this, it will be a big personal achievement for me as well. I have also found a new hobby which I hope will help me to keep the weight off.